Top Ten Ford, Lincoln and Mercury highlights for the week of May 14, 2007
Ford Taurus Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick – The new 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable will arrive in showrooms this summer bearing “Top Safety Pick” ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the highest five-star ratings in all government crash test categories. Standard safety equipment includes driver and front passenger seat side impact air bags, Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bags, Personal Safety System and tire pressure monitoring system. AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control is optional. Other features that help improve active and passive safety as well as driving confidence include standard traction control, available all-wheel drive and available wiper-activated headlamps.
Ford Has Best-Looking Trucks and SUVs – The latest automotive research from Kelley Blue Book’s “Brand Watch” says Ford is tops in exterior styling for trucks and SUVs. “Exterior styling is one of the top decision factors among vehicle shoppers, and consumers’ perceptions can add or eliminate a brand from someone’s consideration list,” said Rick Wainschel vice president, marketing and market research, Kelley Blue Book.
Ford Shelby GT Wins Spring Car Challenge – The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) has named the Ford Shelby GT Mustang the winner of its 2007 Spring Car Challenge. The Shelby GT bested dozens of models from all manufacturers who took part in the drive in Austin, Tex. More than 40 journalists participated in the event, driving 66 vehicles with stickers ranging from $16,000 to more than $70,000. The Ford Mustang also tops the list of sports cars browsed by consumers on MSN Autos during the first quarter of 2007. Ford research shows 67 percent of Mustang buyers do not consider any other vehicle when making their purchase.
“Tough Luxury” Drives F-Series Super Duty Sales, Truck Leadership – Ford pioneered “Tough Luxury” with the interior design of today’s F-150 and has taken the concept to an all-new level with the 2008 F-Series Super Duty. As a result, sales of the most luxurious Super Duty models have dramatically increased. Compared with the 2007 model, more than three times as many customers are purchasing the “King Ranch” package and 40 percent more are choosing “Lariat” models. In addition, 14 percent more customers are now selecting the largest cab size – the Super Crew – which has four full-size doors. Strong F-Series sales have helped improved Ford’s sales leadership over the Chevrolet Silverado to more than 26,000 units.
Expedition Sales Keep Climbing – Ford Expedition posted its eighth consecutive month of higher sales in April. With sales of 8,008 units, Expedition was up 27 percent versus year-ago levels. Among the drivers is the all-new extended length Expedition EL model, which recently earned the top rating in Ford’s internal quality survey (GQRS) for the Large Utility segment. J.D. Power PIN data indicates that Expedition EL is drawing 40 percent of its customers from outside the Ford brand – including 10 percent who are trading in Chevrolet Suburban and Yukon XL models.
Women Luxury Buyers Love Lincoln MKZ – ForbesAutos.comsays “subtlety, sophistication and safety are among the attributes that matter most to women who buy luxury cars – but horsepower has its place, too.” With all of these in abundance, the Lincoln MKZ is on Forbes’ list of Top 10 Luxury Vehicles Driven by Women. The list includes the luxury vehicles with the highest percentage of female primary drivers, based on CNW Marketing Research survey data. Lincoln sales are up nearly 8 percent year to date.
Clever Technologies Distinguish Lincoln MKZ – PC Magazine has named the Lincoln MKZ the “Best Audio” winner of its 2nd annual Digital Drive Awards. The publication for tech-savvy consumers awards the vehicles that employ technological innovations that will be considered mainstream in the automobiles of tomorrow. PC Magazine praised the Lincoln MKZ’s industry-first THX® II Certified Audio System – which also has won recognition from CNET.com – as well as its advanced Navigation system, which offers turn-by-turn directions in three languages.
Ford Has Edge Over Nissan – On sale for just over four months, the new Ford Edge is already outpacing the Nissan Murano. Through April, Edge sales were 33,612 units versus Murano’s 32,733 units. The Edge also is leaving dealership lots at a quick pace of 22 days to turn – more than twice as fast as Murano. Edge sales helped Ford Motor Company’s total crossover sales increase 28 percent in April over the same period last year.
Outstanding Craftsmanship Drives Vehicles to Finals – Editors of Ward’s AutoWorld have selected the Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln Navigator and Lincoln MKZ among the finalists in their respective categories for the magazine’s prestigious “Interior of the Year” awards. To be eligible, a vehicle or its interior had to be new for the 2007 model year. Award results will be announced at the Ward’s Auto Interiors Show held in Detroit on June 6.
Ford Products Dominate Reality TV – Through Ford’s exclusive automotive sponsorship, vehicles bearing the Blue Oval are playing central roles on the top three reality TV programs this season. Ford and the cast of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will ‘Edge Across America’ to provide one deserving family in each of the 50 states a new Ford Edge and one grand prize winner an Extreme Garage Makeover to go with their Edge. The new Ford F-Series Super Duty helps contestants outwit, outplay and outlast each other on CBS’ “Survivor: Fiji.” The FOX megahit “American Idol” features hot vehicles such as the Fusion, Mustang and Edge starring alongside the talented contestants in Ford Music Videos aired within each episode. Combined, these three programs expose nearly 100 million viewers to Ford vehicles each week.
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